Snacks & Candy

Arbor Acquires Best Maid Cookie

Private-equity firm buys c-store, foodservice industry private-label baker

CHICAGO -- Arbor Investments has acquired Best Maid Cookie Co. Inc., a manufacturer and marketer of branded and private-label gourmet cookies and dessert bars in both fully baked and frozen dough formats.

Best Maid Cookie (CSP Daily News / Convenience Stores / Foodservice / Snacks)

The companies did not disclose the terms of the sale.

Founded in 1943 by Swedish immigrant baker C. Arthur Erickson, River Falls, Wis.-based Best Maid provides custom-formulated baked cookies and pre-portioned cookie dough products sold into the foodservice, convenience store and fundraising channels across the United States.

In connection with the acquisition of Best Maid, Arbor partnered with management, led by the company's CEO, Deb Dartsch, who is Arthur Erickson's daughter, and president, Ron Thielen, both of whom will continue to manage Best Maid. The company will continue to operate out of its existing 100,000-square-foot manufacturing facility.

The company will join Arbor's Le Petit Pain baking platform which includes New French Bakery Inc., a Minneapolis-based commercial bakery that manufactures a comprehensive offering of premium branded and private-label take-and-bake and fresh artisan breads. The Le Petit Pain platform is overseen by Arbor operating partner Mike Schultz, a 20-year executive in the baking industry, including as a former executive at CSM Bakery Products and Minneapolis-based Best Brands Corp.

"Best Maid enjoys a distinguished reputation in the sweet goods industry for product quality, innovation and customer service," said Brody Lynn, vice president at Arbor Investments. "The company's management and employees have built a remarkable business and culture, and the complimentary product offerings at New French Bakery will enable both companies to provide greater service to their customers."

"Best Maid is recognized for its superior quality in cookies and bars, which makes it an excellent fit with our current platform of premium artisan breads," said Mike Schultz, operating partner at Arbor Investments.

"We are elated to be partnering with Arbor. Their extensive and unparalleled experience in the food industry, and in particular the baking segment, made them a perfect fit for Best Maid, our management team, employees and customers," said Deb Dartsch. "Over the past 70 years, the company has experienced tremendous growth adhering to our core principles, and we look forward to Arbor continuing that legacy and leading us in our next phase of growth."

Founded in 1999 and based in Chicago, Arbor Investments is a specialized private-equity firm that focuses exclusively on acquiring companies in the food, beverage and related industries. The firm has acquired or invested in more than 41 food, beverage and related companies in North America.

Members help make our journalism possible. Become a CSP member today and unlock exclusive benefits, including unlimited access to all of our content. Sign up here.


Exclusive Content

General Merchandise/HBC

Theme of This Year’s Kwik Trip Holiday Sweater: Glazers

Matching beanie also among seasonal merchandise from convenience-store chain

Company News

2023 Retail Leader of the Year: Forging Her Own Path

Morhous leads RaceTrac into the next generation of convenience retail


Tobacco Plus Forum: How to Keep Up in a Changing Environment

Category managers, industry experts share insights at annual meeting


More from our partners